An old tin box of Embassy cigarettes.
|Produced by||Imperial Tobacco|
|Tagline||"Inhale to your heart's content!"|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Embassy (cigarettes).|
Embassy was launched in 1914 by W.D. & H.O. Wills and was relaunched as a coupon brand in 1962. When the Embassy brand was created, as a rebranding of Strand, more effort was put into developing and launching it than any other previous cigarette brand.
Embassy Filter was introduced in 1962 and was Britain's top-selling brand from 1964 until 1970, when it was overtaken by Player's No. 6. It had a 24% of the market in 1968.
In 2001, Embassy No. 1 had a 3.1% share of the UK licit cigarette market, and an estimated 4.8% share of the illicit market (based on seizures). In 2004, Embassy accounted for 24% of the premium segment of the UK market.
Two-time snooker world champion Alex Higgins sued the makers of Embassy in 1999, claiming that the encouragement from the sponsors to smoke Embassy cigarettes, and the free cigarettes given to players, had contributed to his contracting throat cancer.
Embassy is currently one of the most expensive cigarette brands in the UK with the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes being £11.98 RRP. Embassy also has a sister brand, named Embassy Regal.
In April 2014, the last factory that still produced cigarettes in Nottingham, United Kingdom which also produced the Embassy cigarettes, was closed and production was moved to a foreign country such as Germany or Poland.
In December 2014, Imperial Tobacco celebrated the 100 year existence of the Embassy brand. Rebecca Cottee, brand manager – factory manufactured cigarettes, at Imperial Tobacco said: "As one of our most iconic brands Embassy is and continues to be an intrinsic part of Imperial Tobacco’s heritage. For a brand like Embassy to survive for 100 years is a great achievement, particularly as the category has seen so many newcomers over the last 50 years. Premium priced cigarettes continue to be strong sellers within the category. It’s vital that independent retailers ensure constant availability of leading brands, such as Embassy, as many tobacco shoppers will leave a store and go elsewhere without making any purchase if their preferred brand is not available.".
In 1973, Embassy became the title sponsor of the new Embassy Racing With Graham Hill (commonly known as Embassy Hill) Formula One motor racing team, founded by two-time World Champion Graham Hill. Hill was also the team's lead driver for its first two years, but Embassy Hill did not enjoy success, securing only three points-scoring finishes in three years of racing. When Hill and most of the team's drivers and technical staff died in an aircraft accident in late 1975 the team was wound up.
In 1976, Embassy was the primary sponsor of the World Snooker Championships from 1976 to 2005 as well as the World Professional Darts Championship from 1978 until 2003, when the UK government banned all tobacco sponsorship in sport.
Embassy is mainly sold in the United Kingdom, but also was or still is sold in Ireland, Germany, Spain, Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya, South Africa, Mauritius, Pakistan, Malaysia, Canada, United States, Trinidad and Argentina.
Current UK Brands
- Embassy Mild/Blue
- Embassy Filter
- Embassy Number 1
Discontinued UK Brands
- Belair Menthol
- Embassy Envoy
- Embassy Gold
- Embassy Number 3
- Embassy Number 5
- Embassy Number 3 Extra Mild
- Embassy Number 5 Extra Mild
- Embassy Extra Mild
- Embassy Number 1 Extra Mild
- Embassy Premier with NSM (New Smoking Mixture)
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